The Best and Worst of Audrey Hepburn
How do you decide on the best and worst of one of your personal heroes and role models? It's not easy. It takes a lot of thought and consideration, a lot of time and effort, and a few tears and hair rips too. My decision has been made so here is my picks for the best and worst of Audrey Hepburn. As usual, below my selections will be a complete filmography with my ratings of each film.
The Best #1: The Children's Hour
Taking the number one spot, The Children's Hour resonates with old and new generations alike, tackling one of the most controversial topics ever to plague humankind: why can't some people accept gay/lesbian people? The story follows two teachers at a girls' school who are accused by a child of being lovers. It's a heartbreaking, true-to-life tale that needs to be heard, especially in today's world.
The Best #2: Wait Until Dark
What would you do if you were blind and had not one but three intruders in your home? It's a scary thought for anyone. Audrey masterfully takes on the role of Susy, an older blind woman who has a piece of evidence that proves her husband's innocence regarding a recent crime. The problem is, three men also want that particular evidence, because inside is the heroine stash that proves their guilt. Tense and unforgettable, Wait Until Dark is sure to leave its mark on your heart and mind.
The Best #3: Charade
The ultimate suspenseful mystery film, Charade follows recent widow Regina Lambert whose late husband had a few too many secrets. Regina is soon caught in the middle of a high-stakes chase and her only chance of surviving is finding out just who exactly her husband was and why the CIA was after him. Full of suspense that never lets up, Charade will keep you on the edge of your seat, keep you guessing, and keep your heart pounding.
The Best #4: Roman Holiday
The film that launched Audrey into stardom, and the only film in which she won an Oscar, Roman Holiday follows a princess who is bored with her scheduled, sheltered life and decides to leave the mansion and explore the city. A reporter desperate to get an interview with the princess takes her in, but doesn't expect for feelings to come into play too. A sweet, romantic film, it's definitely a must see!
The Best #5: Breakfast at Tiffany's
Probably her most famous role, Breakfast at Tiffany's tells the story of Holly Golightly, a young and restless woman who has become close to a new tenant in her apartment building. The only problem is, she's afraid to get too close to people and consistently avoids love. The film is romantic, sad, funny, and tragic all in one. It's certainly a film that shouldn't be missed!
Honorable Mention #1: Funny Face
A young bookstore owner is pulled into the world of modeling after a photographer finds himself intrigued with her and ultimately falling for her. Funny Face is probably the sweetest and most romantic of all of Audrey's films. The other five have stronger stories though, which is why this one was dropped to an Honorable Mention.
Honorable Mention #2: The Nun's Story
Normally I only do one Honorable Mention but this was no normal woman. Audrey was absolutely fantastic in most all of her roles and this one's no exception. This film follows the life of Gabrielle, whose name was changed to Sister Luke when she became a nun. This is a true story, and quite a remarkable one at that. Sister Luke started out as a nun, worked in a mental institution, became a missionary for the sick in third-world countries, and almost died herself in the process. Sister Luke was a remarkable woman who lived a remarkable life. Don't miss this remarkable film!
The Worst of Audrey Hepburn
As I said before, this was not an easy choice as I love Audrey in everything. But everyone has their lesser films. Keep in mind, these choices for the Worst category doesn't mean they are necessarily bad films, just lesser than the rest.
Worst #1: Bloodline
After her father is murdered, a cosmetics heiress becomes the next target of an unknown killer. The film tried too hard to be the new Charade and ended up being lackluster. Audrey did the best she could with what she had to work with but what can you do when the cast around you aren't giving it their best and the script itself is already bad from the start?
Worst #2: Two for the Road
The acting was perfect and humorous moments were spot-on, but the problem with the film lies with the lack of a plot. The whole film is all about a couple's tremendously tumultuous marriage, divorce, relationship, break-up, and relationship again. Perhaps it just hit too close to home for me. Either way, I felt this was one of the worst of Audrey's films.
Worst #3: They All Laughed
The film follows a couple of detectives who are following a couple of women who are in turn following the detectives. It's a comedy that just doesn't have much comedy at all. A comedy that lacks comedy? It happens sometimes. Too bad it happened to Audrey. The film had potential but fell flat on its face.
Worst #4: Love Among Thieves
The film almost feels like an attempt at recreating How to Steal a Million, but just doesn't quite hit its mark. It's yet another film that had potential but just couldn't pull through.
Worst #5: Paris When It Sizzles
The film follows a screenwriter and his assistant who are working on creating the next best screenplay but in the meantime start to fall for one another. The film started well but just became a jumbled mess and by the end, you couldn't tell if you just watched a romance, a comedy, or a dramatic heist.
Dishonorable Mention: Robin and Marian
Robin and Marian - The film follows an aged Robin Hood who returns home to be with Maid Marian one last time. This was one of those grey-area films in which it's both good and bad but you're not sure which. Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn give terrific performances, but the film drags in several spots and the ending leaves you unsatisfied and empty.
Filmography and Ratings
Some of Audrey's older films could not be found. I have marked those with an N/A for Not Available.
- Sauce Tartare - N/A
- One Wild Oat - N/A
- Laughter in Paradise - N/A
- The Lavender Hill Mob - 3 out of 4
- Young Wives' Tale - N/A
- Baby Beats the Band - N/A
- Secret People - N/A
- We Go to Monte Carlo - N/A
- Roman Holiday - 4 out of 4
- Sabrina - 3 out of 4
- War and Peace - 3 out of 4
- Funny Face - 3.5 out of 4
- Love in the Afternoon - 3 out of 4
- Green Mansions - 3 out of 4
- The Nun's Story - 3.5 out of 4
- The Unforgiven - 3 out of 4
- Breakfast at Tiffany's - 4 out of 4
- The Children's Hour - 4 out of 4
- Charade - 4 out of 4
- Paris When It Sizzles - 1.5 out of 4
- My Fair Lady - 2.5 out of 4
- How to Steal a Million - 3 out of 4
- Two for the Road - 1.5 out of 4
- Wait Until Dark - 4 out of 4
- Robin and Marian - 2 out of 4
- Bloodline - 1 out of 4
- They All Laughed - 1.5 out of 4
- Love Among Thieves - 1.5 out of 4
- Always - 2.5 out of 4
Audrey Hepburn is timeless. She's a piece of history, both real and cinematic, who will remain in our hearts for lifetimes. I hope you are resting peacefully, Ms Hepburn. We certainly miss you.
What's your favorite Audrey Hepburn film?
© 2016 Alec Zander